Bootcamp Vista deactivated!

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by kaymc, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. kaymc macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007
    I've had Vista installed on my Macbook Pro under Bootcamp for a while now. It's an OEM edition, bought off eBay. It's the real deal, with all the holograms, stickers and everything. It was all working like a treat, until...

    Last week Apple sent down a firmware upgrade for my MacBook pro. The next time I booted under Vista, I was told the my Hardware Configuration has changed and that I needed to re-activate. I tried that, but then it said that my copy of Vista was already activated and that I should buy a new copy.

    Like an idiot I called Microsoft support only to be told that the problem was that I had an OEM copy and that I should buy a new retail copy, or they would not support me. I'm sure they couldn't help me anyway, the guy was clearly working off a script and had no idea what I was talking about.

    Any suggestions?
  2. notsofatjames macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2007
    Wales, UK
    phone again and dont tell them its installed on a mac. Say you just upgraded your BIOS or something. If they start to ask questions, ask why they need to know.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Did you give them any of your details?

    If not call them again and tell them that it is on a home build windows PC which the HD died and you reinstalled it on a new one.
  4. kaymc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007
    I'm an idiot. Right before he read out the "OEM = bad" speech, he asked for and I gave him my name and phone number. The guys was obviously in an Indian call centre and working off a script. I thought he was going to pass it along to second-line support. I assumed that was why they wanted my details.

    Somebody shoot me!
  5. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
  6. RichardI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    A perfect example of why I bought a Mac.
    I suggest you lie like a rug! IMHO, MS has no right to prevent you from re-installing after a simple firmware update - OEM copy or not!
    Explain to them that it's NOT a new PC.

    Rich :cool:
  7. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Well as long as you didn't give any details about the copy of windows you are using such as serial number, registration code. You can always phone up again with different details.

    Just don't say it is installed on a Mac.
  8. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    No, you're not--you did nothing wrong. There is nothing in the Microsoft System Builder License Agreement (SBLA--see the full text at that prevents you from installing a SB version, as long as you define yourself as a "system builder," which means among other things a "preinstaller of software on computer systems." When you set up Windows on a Mac, you are completing the build of a Windows system. If this seems like I'm playing word games, consider that Microsoft has on- and off-the-record stated that they don't mind consumers buying OEM versions, as long as they abide by the license (see references here and here.)

    Why Microsoft tacitly allows this is anyone's guess, but my take is that they are catering to the DIY market. You can be sure that if they were really opposed to OEM versions reaching consumers, Newegg and the like would be shut down immediately.

    So your Indian friend was wrong. However, I'm guessing where you went wrong was in giving him too much information! These activation "techs" are very low-level personnel, trained to try to distinguish between people with legitimate reactivation needs and people who are up to something fishy. If you start talking about Macs, Boot Camp, EFI firmware updates, and so forth, you'll lose them and they'll just say 'no' so as to avoid making a mistake. Best to keep it simple--you are under no legal or moral obligation to tell them everything. For OEM versions, the only legitimate reason to reactivate is if you make a major hardware change. So just tell them you made a major hardware change (e.g., network adapter, graphics card, memory, but not the motherboard). You don't need to tell them you installed the OS, that you're running a Mac, or that flashing the firmware caused the problem.

    Please let us know how this turns out. I'm also running Vista OEM, and I'm concerned about how difficult MS will be if activation gets broken.
  9. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    You're probably right about the call centre as depicted in this short film:
  10. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Difficult, to a point. If you know the route through the script, you can get it done, but learning the tricks takes practice.

    Even with the retail version, if you reinstall onto the same hardware you run a chance of breaking the activation and having to phone in depending on how recently you activated the other copy. Moving licenses from one machine to another with a retail key will break if you activated the other copy recently (within 90 days it seems).

    Rather frustrating, because while I have been able to activate each time, it drives me nuts that I am having to phone support to activate an OS that I am using within the EULA terms. With Microsoft seeing piracy as a big 'competitor' that needs to be extinguished, they will take actions they deem as beneficial to reducing the perceived piracy of their product. Even if it annoys the heck out of users.
  11. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC

    Did you call the activation help line? The activation screen should have given you the number.

    MS Support won't give you any help with OEM copies (that's part of the EULA for OEM), but the activation department will help you reactivate it.
  12. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I've had the same copy of XP since I bought it when it first came out, and I've installed it on dozens of systems (legally of course)... whenever it tells me it can't activate, I call up activation and they usually do it no questions asked. In fact when I try to explain why I need the activation they usually cut me off, give me the number, and hang up on me. Not the most pleasant people but at least they've never argued with me. :)
  13. John01021988 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    yeah, same happened to me, I had installed my windows xp version on my ex-home pc, then installed it on my mac through vmware and when I tried to installed it on bootcamp (for games lol) i had the activation thing popping in my screen, so I called to the call center, managed my way through the script and the script gave me a number. XP was working again, lol!

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